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NO LET UP IN DEFNCE SPENDING IN U.S.

07 Feb 06. The Wall Street Journal reported that President Bush sent Congress a $2.77 trillion spending plan on Monday that would bolster the nation’s war against terrorism but squeeze many other government programs in an effort to deal with a budget deficit projected to hit an all-time high this year.

Mr. Bush, hoping to get his domestic agenda back on track after a year of political setbacks, sent Congress a budget blueprint that emphasizes keeping the country strong militarily while offering mostly modest initiatives to deal with voter anxiety about rising global competition, soaring energy prices and skyrocketing medical bills.

“My administration has focused the nation’s resources on our highest priority — protecting our citizens and our homeland,” Mr. Bush said in his budget message. “Working with Congress, we have given our men and women on the front lines in the war on terror the funding they need to defeat the enemy and detect, disrupt and dismantle terrorist plots and operations.” (Full report)

THE BUSH FORECAST

Economic assumptions from President Bush’s proposed 2007 budget:
• Gross domestic product: $13.761 trillion

• Economic growth (real GDP): 3.3%

• Consumer price inflation: 2.4%

• Unemployment rate: 5%

• 91-day Treasury bill interest rate: 4.2%

• 10-year Treasury note interest rate: 5.3%
(Source: The Associated Press)

Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld said:

“The president’s budget request for the Department of Defense represents an increase over last year. It reflects what we should – believe should be the country’s national security priorities — namely to help defend the United States of America and the American people and their interests, to give flexibility to commanders, to prepare for both conventional and unconventional or irregular warfare, and importantly, to work closely with partner nations to help them develop the capabilities needed to defeat terrorists within their borders, and to cooperate with us and other countries with respect to this global threat.”

HIGHLIGHTS

The fiscal year 2007 president’s budget request for defense is $439.3 billion, a 7 percent increase over what was enacted by Congress last year. The budget invests in capabilities and forces necessary in these key strategic priority areas: First, to prevail in irregular warfare operations, including wars of long duration like the global war on terror; to defend the homeland, especially against catastrophic terrorism and other advanced threats; and to maintain, as the secretary said, our U.S. superiority against threats from other nation states.

The Quadrennial Defense Review took National Military Strategy and operationalized that strategy, planning construct and of the four focus areas. Those four focus areas are defeating terrorist networks, defending the homeland, combating weapons of mass destruction, and shaping the choices of countries at the crossroads.

Investments in joint mobility, in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, in methods to combat weapons of mass destruction, in increasing the sizes of Special Operation Forces; and accelerating the Army’s efforts to create a more modular deployable force; and building joint maritime forces for near-shore and in-shore operations; in orienting joint air capabilities to increase the range and persistence to larger and more flexible payloads; and the ability to penetrate and operate in denied areas, and advancing joint command and control with the requisite netcentricity.

Size and capability of the Special Operations Forces increased. Funding for an additional 14,000 Special Operations Forces, growing from 50,000 in fiscal year ’06 to 64,000 in fiscal year 2011, growing 4,000 in this current budget.

An increase in Special Operations Forces’ combat battalions by 33 percent. Funding for the recently established Marine Corps Spec

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